Midwife, IBCLC lactation consultant and hypnobirthing teacher
I’m Ruth, I run My Birth and Baby. I’m a midwife, IBCLC lactation consultant, hypnobirthing teacher and mum of 4.
After I had my first baby in 2001, I became fascinated by pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. I had assumed that it all just happened as nature intended but that’s not quite how things went. Then I saw friends having birth experiences that left them traumatised. They struggled with breastfeeding and often didn’t get the support they needed to overcome the challenges they faced.
I didn’t understand what was going so wrong. So I started reading and became involved with groups that support pregnant and new parents. But I wanted to do more. So I started training as a breastfeeding counsellor after the birth of my second baby. I went on to become an antenatal teacher and hypnobirthing teacher. Once my children were at school, I trained to be a midwife.
I work as a private midwife because I believe that midwifery is all about relationships. It’s only through unhurried, regular visits, in your home, that we can develop a relationship. That means I can best support you and you can trust me. You’ll feel comfortable asking me those niggling little questions which could end up being really important, and I will notice when something seems different, so I can respond to that.
Pregnancy, birth and early parenthood are hugely important times in every parent’s life. Doing everything possible to ensure the health of you and your baby is very important. But it should only be the start of the care a midwife provides. Midwife means ‘with woman’ and it’s a role that has existed in virtually every society, throughout history. Often an experienced mother would taken on the role of supporting and nurturing other women as they embarked on their own journey of motherhood. It’s this holistic approach that I think is important.
No two women have the same hopes and fears, or the same plans. So my aim as a midwife is to help you achieve what’s important to you, whatever that might be.
I feel passionately about the importance of home birth and birth without intervention, where that is your choice. A lot of the women I work with plan to give birth at home. They often intend to have a water birth and want to use hypnobirthing and aromatherapy, all of which are aspects of birth that I love facilitating. I think that as midwife, having a deep understanding of the processes of undisturbed birth is vitally important, so it’s what I focus on.
Hypnobirthing and antenatal education
I qualified as an NCT antenatal teacher in 2008. I love helping pregnant women and their partners prepare for the birth of their baby and I think that preparation for parenting is equally important, although it can sometimes be forgotten when ‘The Birth’ is such a big issue. Although I enjoy facilitating group classes, individual sessions are what I love the most. That’s when I can really help you to identify what’s important and ensure the sessions are tailored to meet your particular needs.
I also went on to become a hypnobirthing instructor. Hypnobirthing is about positive thinking and deep physical relaxation. It’s a gentle technique that can help with all sorts of situations, it’s not simply a method of pain management for labour. So I think it’s a great option to have as part of your birth preparation.
Lactation consultant (IBCLC) breastfeeding support
I have been helping breastfeeding mums and their babies since 2006, when I qualified as an NCT breastfeeding counsellor. I was then a La Leche League leader for several years and I am currently a lactation consultant (IBCLC) and member of The Lactation Consultants of GB.
Helping breastfeeding families, both in person and by phone and email, is something I love doing. Over the years I have worked in many different ways, including running regular breastfeeding drop-ins and meetings, facilitating breastfeeding antenatal classes and training breastfeeding peer supporters, both for the NCT and NHS. I also completed extra training whilst I was at the NCT to become a supervisor and reviewer of other breastfeeding counsellors.
My passion for supporting breastfeeding was sparked when I saw friends encounter problems that led to them stopping breastfeeding before they wanted to. As breastfeeding was such an important part of how I mothered my own babies, I felt sad that women who wanted to breastfeed were unable to do so due to problems such as sore nipples or slow weight gain. As I learned more, I discovered that these problems can almost always be overcome with skilled support at the right time. But without that support, breastfeeding can become impossible. Sadly many women find it difficult to get the help they need to enable them to breastfeed for as long as they want.
That’s where I come in. I can offer skilled practical help, alongside non-judgemental emotional support, to help you achieve your own breastfeeding goals, whatever they might be.
BSc (Hons) Midwifery, First Class
Dip HE in Antenatal Education
Dip HE in Breastfeeding Counselling
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)
I have also completed the ‘Aromatherapy for Childbirth’ course
Find out more by clicking on the links below or contact me if you’ve got any questions.